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Log cabin fire in Lowell considered suspicious

in Lowell/News

LOWELL — Fire investigators are saying that a log cabin that burned down on Hazen’s Notch Road in Lowell on Sunday is considered suspicious.

A neighbor noticed the fire at approximately 9:15 p.m.

It was reported the structure was unoccupied and still under construction.

Lowell Fire Chief Calvin Allen contacted investigators to determine the origin and cause of the fire.

Investigators say the cause of the fire is still under investigation, however, it appears that there was direct human involvement and the fire is considered suspicious.

There were no reported injuries.

The building is considered a total loss.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Det. Sgt. Michael LaCourse at 802-334-8881.

Fatal three-vehicle crash in Lowell

in Lowell/Newport/News

LOWELL — A 66-year-old man from Lowell was killed in a three-vehicle this morning.

Police were notified of the crash in the town of Lowell at the intersection of Vermont Route 58 and Vermont Route 100, at around 8:30 a.m.

According to the report, Michaela Dizazzo, 26, of Lowell, was traveling on Hazen’s Notch road headed towards Route 58.

The vehicle crossed the intersection of Route 100 where it was struck by Craig Sears, 66, of Lowell, who was traveling north on Route 100.

After impact, Dizazzo collided into Brian Wright, 40, of Burlington.

Police say Sears was unconscious when EMS arrived on scene and was transported to North Country Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Car windows shot out by bb gun driving through Lowell

in Lowell/News

LOWELL — Police say two juveniles were cited into family court after a number of motorists reported having their windows shot out with a bb gun while driving in Lowell.

On Saturday, the Vermont State Police received a complaint where the victim stated she believed her truck was struck by a bullet or rock while she was driving on Vermont Route 100, near Irish Hill Road.

Troopers responded to the area and while investigating, three other callers came forward saying their vehicles had been struck with something in the same area.

Two of the vehicles were examined and it was determined the damage was caused by a bb or a pellet.

“A total of two of the vehicles had their rear side window shot out,” a statement issued by Trooper Mikkola reads.

Mikkola went on to say that the investigation later revealed two juveniles were shooting cans in the dark with a bb gun on their property.

The shooting area and the target cans were observed by the trooper and located beyond the cans was Route 100.

Both juveniles were cited into family court for unlawful mischief and reckless endangerment.

Police are asking anyone with more information to call the Derby State Police barracks at 802-334-8881.

DUI and LSA charges after early morning crash in Albany

in Albany/Lowell/News

ALBANY — A 21-year-old man from Lowell is facing charges of leaving the scene of an accident and DUI after an early morning crash in Albany on Sunday.

At around 5:10 a.m. police were notified of the incident taking place on Main Street.

Police say a 2013 Volkswagen was headed south when the vehicle left the roadway and struck a Dodge truck parked in a private driveway.

According to the report, police identified the driver as Luke Gosselin.

Police say Gosselin fled the scene and drove his vehicle on Eden Mountain Road until it would no longer drive.

He was eventually picked up and received a ride home.

Police say they met with Gosselin at his residence in Lowell and was screened for impairment and it was determined he was driving under the influence.

He was given a citation to appear in court in September to answer the charges.

Fresh­Tracks Road Pitch to visit Low­ell

in Lowell/News

LOWELL — The fifth an­nual Fresh­Tracks Road Pitch is returning to Lowell on Tues­day, July 31.

The event is a four-day mo­tor­cy­cle tour of Ver­mont in which a gang of “busi­ness bik­ers” com­prised of in­vestors, en­tre­pre­neurs, and busi­ness ad­vi­sors, ride around the state and stop in eight Ver­mont towns to lis­ten to en­tre­pre­neurs pitch their busi­ness.

En­tre­pre­neurs in­ter­ested in pitch­ing their con­cept or ex­ist­ing busi­ness to the rid­ers should con­tact one or more of the lo­cal or­ga­niz­ers noted be­low in or­der to ap­ply for a pitch slot.

At each of the eight stops, the rid­ers will award a “Rid­ers Choice Prize” of $500 and a spe­cial edi­tion “Ver­mont Biker Bear” con­tributed by Ver­mont Teddy Bear.

Each stop is open to pub­lic view­ing.

For in­for­ma­tion about Road Pitch, the rid­ers, as well as valu­able pitch­ing tips, visit www.road­pitch.co.

Tenant at Mississquoi Lanes bowling alley being held without bail

in Lowell/News

LOWELL — Police say a Lowell man who lived in the one-bedroom apartment inside the Mississquoi Lanes bowling alley that was destroyed in a fire on Wednesday, is being held without bail.

Travis Hesler, 36, is facing charges of first degree aggravated domestic assault, unlawful mischief, and unlawful trespass, all felony charges.

Police say on Wednesday at around 2:20 a.m. they learned of a domestic assault that took place in Lowell.

When police arrived the victim had already been taken to the hospital to have her injuries checked at the emergency room. 

Hesler was not able to be located at the time, but police say they were tipped off that he was at a residence in Eden, where he was trying to force his way inside.

Police allege in doing so he smashed windows to the residence and damaged a couple of doors and door casings. Police also say Hesler then damaged a couple of vehicles that were parked in the driveway.

He was finally located and arrested by a Lamoille County Deputy Sheriff.

Authorities say the investigation into the fire at Mississquoi Lanes later that morning was completed and the cause is currently classified as “undetermined,” and remains under investigation.

No injuries were reported during the fire, but according to a statement issued by Detective Sergeant Michael LaCourse with the Fire Investigation Unit, “at the time of the fire, the lone occupant and a family pet were able to escape without injury.”

That occupant was identified as Hesler, who was arrested for the unrelated charges.

He was transported to the Derby Barracks where he was booked and processed for the charges that took place in Lowell. 

He was brought to Orleans County Court for arraignment, where Judge Robert Bent ordered him held without bail until further court hearings. 

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Scenes from fire at Missisquoi Lanes in Lowell

in Lowell/News

LOWELL — A fire broke out at Missisquoi Lanes bowling alley on Route 100 in Lowell early this morning.

Firefighters from Lowell and Troy departments were called to the scene at around 5:20 a.m.

Missisquoi Lanes was a 10-lane bowling establishment with a bar.

Firefighters remained on scene until around 8:30 a.m.

An origin and cause investigation has been requested.

All photos from Facebook, credit Justin Machell, Serena Russell, John Young, Rita Jean Simino-Royer.

Charleston woman seriously injured in head-on crash

in Charleston/Lowell/Newport/News/Westmore

LOWELL — A 36-year-old woman from Charleston was seriously injured in a two-vehicle crash near Lowell last night.

On Friday, at around 5:45 p.m., police and emergency responders were dispatched to a report of a crash on Vermont Route 100 in Westfield, near the Lowell town line.

According to police, Windy Bowman, 36, of Charleston, was headed north, and Victoria Mason, 28, of Johnson, was headed south when both vehicles collided head-on.

Bowman was transported by helicopter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital for what police describe as “life-threatening injuries.”

She was the only occupant in her vehicle.

Victoria Mason and passenger Troy Mason were both transported to North Country Hospital for “serious injuries,” police say.

Two juvenile passengers in Mason’s vehicle arrived at North Country Hospital by a family member and only sustained minor injuries.

Kidder Hill Community Wind stops project activities

in Lowell/News/Northeast Kingdom

LOWELL — Kidder Hill Community Wind announced today the suspension of project planning activities for the proposed two-turbine wind installation in Lowell.

Citing a turbulent climate for renewable wind energy in Vermont and the urgent need for more renewables to be built, the project explained that resources will be reprioritized toward building renewable energy elsewhere.

“The Phil Scott administration has made clear that it will do whatever it can to stop renewable wind energy from being built here in Vermont,” explained project spokesperson Nick Charyk. “Our resources will be devoted to deploying cost-effective, renewable wind projects in states committed to cutting fossil fuel emissions.”

David Blittersdorf, a lifelong Vermonter and renewable energy advocate, says that Kidder Hill Community Wind is part of his vision for combatting our CO2 crisis.

Within the past seven years, Blittersdorf has led three separate partnerships in building two 2.2 MW community-scale solar farms in South Burlington, as well as Georgia Mountain Community Wind, a 10 MW wind farm that helps the city of Burlington source 100 percent of its power from renewable generation.

Blittersdorf is also a project partner for Dairy Air Wind, a single turbine project proposed in a cornfield on a 450-acre dairy farm in Holland.

Dairy Air Wind was awarded a state Standard Offer contract to sell electricity in Vermont, and is in the process of being permitted.

Dairy Air Wind is moving forward, and plans to earn a certificate of public good and begin construction later this year.

“By not confronting our own energy challenges we will continue to rely on other states for our energy solutions and continue to write IOUs to our children and grandchildren for the effects of our addiction to spewing carbon,” Blittersdorf said. “As long as Vermont continues to make the unfortunate decision of relying on our neighbors for energy solutions, we will focus our efforts on developing renewables in places where it is possible to actually get projects built.”

Christmas Home Alone dinner tradition continues in North Troy

in Lowell/Newport/News/North Troy/Westfield

NORTH TROY — Nobody wants to be alone on Christmas Day, and thanks to Donald St. Onge of North Troy, if you live around here, you don’t have to be.

Donald started this great tradition many years ago to fill a void in the community. He is no longer able to take on an active role, but we would like to continue the tradition that he started and turned into such a success.

The annual Christmas Home Alone meal will be served at the St. Vincent de Paul Church, located at 18 North Pleasant Street in North Troy, on Christmas Day.

The gathering starts at 11:30 a.m. with a meal to follow at 12:00 p.m.

All who find themselves alone on Christmas Day from the surrounding areas of North Troy, Troy, Lowell, Westfield, Newport Center, and Newport City are welcome.

The dinner will consist of turkey and ham, with many side dishes and desserts. The dinner is under the auspices of the Missisquoi Valley Historical Society.

If you would like to make a donation, checks can be made out and mailed to:

Christmas Home Alone
C/O Becky Therrien
71 Church St
Newport Center, VT 05857

Anyone who would like to make any other donation or volunteer their time please contact Becky Therrien by calling (802) 487-9225.

If you would like a meal delivered on Christmas Day, home delivery is available, but only in North Troy by calling (802)487-9225.

Newport man facing attempted murder charge

in Derby/Lowell/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Three men are being held without bail after police say they were involved in the kidnapping and brutal assault of a 20-year-old Derby man.

In court last week, Tyler Glodgett, 22, of Newport, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and unlawful restraint.

Joshua Bedard, 30, of Brattleboro, was charged with kidnapping, unlawful restraint, and aggravated assault relating to the incident.

The third man charged in the case is 28-year-old Justin Peters, of Coventry, who pled not guilty to a charge of aggravated assault.

Police say the incident took place last month in Lowell, at a white trailer on Route 58.

According to court records, the 20-year-old victim from Derby offered to give Bedard a ride, when he was led to the trailer in Lowell, where Glodgett and Peters were located.

After around ten minutes, police say Bedard punched the victim in the face, while he and Glodgett accused the victim of ratting them out to police. The attack continued with the victim being repeatedly kicked and punched, his hands tied behind his back, his cheek sliced with a box cutter, and his arm branded with a heated fork.

At one point during the assault, a trash bag was placed over his head, causing him to feel that he was going to suffocate.

Court records go on to detail how the victim was able to escape the assault by freeing his hands and making a break for the front door, while the other occupants of the trailer were doing drugs in the kitchen.

He eventually showed up at the State Police barracks in Derby, where he was transported to the hospital to be treated for his injuries.

The three men were arrested, and in court, Judge Robert Bent ordered them held without bail as charges are pending.

Police cruiser involved in Lowell crash

in Lowell/News

LOWELL — A Vermont State Police trooper responding to an emergency call crashed her Ford Explorer police cruiser in Lowell on Sunday.

Police say at approximately 8:45 p.m. Trooper Abigail Drew was responding to a report of a motorcycle crash with injury.

Trooper Drew had her emergency blue lights and siren activated when she failed to negotiate a sharp curve in the roadway, near 1966 Irish Hill Road.

She drove through a small ditch and into an empty field.

Police say she was traveling approximately 45 to 50 miles-per-hour at the time of this incident, and the impact of her cruiser driving through the ditch caused all side airbags in the State Police cruiser to deploy.

Trooper Drew was not injured during the crash.

ATM stolen in Lowell

in Lowell/News

LOWELL — Police say someone made off with an ATM during a brazen theft in Lowell over the weekend.

On Sunday morning, police were notified of a burglary that occurred at Missisquoi Lanes bowling alley, sometime overnight.

The double-glass door was pried open overnight and the ATM was stolen from the property.

Police say an undisclosed amount of cash was taken inside the machine, as well as $30 in Canadian currency from the cash register.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 802-334-8881.

Irasburg man killed in ATV crash

in Irasburg/Lowell/Newport/News

LOWELL — A 22-year-old man from Irasburg was killed in an ATV crash in Lowell on Saturday.

Police say the victim, identified as Nicholas Miller, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Irish Hill Road at around 7:00 p.m.

“Preliminary investigation revealed Nicholas Miller was operating the ATV at a high rate of speed on Irish Hill Road, causing the ATV to leave the asphalt portion of the roadway,” a statement issued by police reads.

The ATV traveled in the grassy shoulder for approximately 50 yards before striking several trees down an embankment.

Miller was not wearing a seat belt nor a helmet, police say, and was ejected from the ATV.

Missisquoi Ambulance service responded to the scene and pronounced him deceased.

The sole passenger on the ATV was wearing a seat belt and was transported to North County Hospital with what police describe as “minor injuries.”

Police are saying that alcohol and speed appear to be contributing factors in Saturday’s fatal crash.

Police: Local musician looking for missing guitar

in Lowell/Newport/News

LOWELL — A local musician is looking for his guitar after he alerted police on Friday that it is missing.

Police say Wayne Warner and his sister and manager Juanita Tetreault, contacted them from Lowell on Friday to report the guitar missing.

The instrument is listed as a Gibson J200.

Police say Warner had let some individuals borrow the guitar on July 15, for 4 days. As of July 19, the guitar was not returned.

There hasn’t been any contact with the individuals as of Friday, police say.

The guitar was in a hard black Gibson case which also had lyric sheets inside of it.

Warner, a musician from the Northeast Kingdom, has had a long career, including the hit song “Turbo Twang,” named among the Top 10 country dance songs of 2006.

Anyone with any information about the location of the guitar is being asked to call the Vermont State Police.

Police seek info after crash in Lowell

in Lowell/News

LOWELL — Police are seeking information after a single-vehicle crash in Lowell on Tuesday.

At around 7:45 a.m. police responded to Carter Road for a complaint of a vehicle that had apparently been involved in a motor vehicle crash.

The vehicle, a 2005 Subaru Forester, had been abandoned and the driver had subsequently fled the scene.

The Subaru sustained significant damage, as well as caused damage to private property along Carter Road.

Police say the registration plate attached to the car was not assigned to the vehicle.

The incident is still under investigation, and police are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to contact Trooper Marie Beland at (802)334-8881.

Tragic crash takes life of Newport man, Derby woman

in Derby/Lowell/Newport/News

LOWELL — Two Orleans County residents were killed in a tragic two-car collision that took place in Lowell on Monday.

Police say 45-year-old Gordon Farrar, of Newport, was traveling northbound on Vermont 100, when his 2007 Chevrolet Colorado crossed the centerline into the path of a southbound 2008 Dodge Caliber, being driven by Joanne Nolin, 68, of Derby.

The vehicles collided in the southbound lane, just north of the Lowell-Eden town line, at around noon.

Police say both drivers suffered extensive injuries and were pronounced deceased at the scene.

Both lanes of Vermont 100 were closed for several hours, while investigators attempted to process the scene.

Lowell Fire Department and Missisquoi Valley Ambulance service responded to the scene and assisted.

Police say the crash remains under investigation.

Two killed in Lowell car crash

in Lowell/News

LOWELL — A car crash this morning in Lowell claimed two lives and shut down part of Vermont Route 100, just north of the Lowell-Eden town line.

Police say the accident was a head-on collision, and that both drivers were killed.

A spokesman for the Vermont State Police says that identification of the victims is awaiting notification of next of kin.

Lowell and North Hyde Park fire departments assisted with traffic control, as the road remained closed throughout the day.

Newport Dispatch will update this story as more information becomes available.

Irasburg selectboard defines position on ridgeline industrial wind

in Irasburg/Lowell

IRASBURG — Faced with the prospect of an application by developer David Blittersdorf for an industrial-scale wind project on Irasburg’s Kidder Hill ridgeline, the Irasburg selectboard has defined its position on the siting of renewable energy projects within the town, as well as turbines located over the town line in Lowell.

“Energy projects in Irasburg must proceed based on the principles of respect for the environment, sound economics and regard for community values,” said Selectboard Chair David Warner. “Because industrial-scale wind turbines on the town’s ridgelines do not meet all of these criteria, the town of Irasburg opposes their development.”

On October 1, 2015, Irasburg citizens voted 274-9 not to allow the development of industrial wind projects on the town’s ridgelines.

“The selectboard stands with Governor Phil Scott in our commitment to working towards energy efficiency and renewable energy goals without destroying our ridgelines,” said selectboard member Mark Collette.

On December 23, 2016, Blittersdorf presented a 45-day notice of his intent to file an application for a CPG for two 2.5-megawatt industrial wind towers, each 499 feet high, on Kidder Hill, Irasburg’s dominant ridgeline, just west of town.

The Blittersdorf pre-file notice described several different potential configurations for the two towers, on either side of the Irasburg-Lowell town line, which runs along the ridgeline.

However, Warner noted that Act 174, the energy siting bill passed in 2016 by the Vermont legislature, grants adjacent municipalities the right to participate in siting decisions if the facility will be within a distance of 500 feet or 10 times the height of the facility, whichever is greater.

That provision makes Irasburg a participant in energy siting decisions for proposed sites in Lowell within a distance of 4,990 feet, or .95 miles from Irasburg.

“Many people believe that if Irasburg opposes industrial wind development on the Kidder Hill ridgeline, the developer could simply move the towers a few feet to the Lowell side of the town line,” Warner said. “However, the towers would have to move nearly a mile away from Irasburg before our town would lose its participation in the siting decision. The legislature included that provision in Act 174 precisely for situations like this.”

K-9 helps police track, arrest wanted man in wooded area in Lowell

in Lowell/News

LOWELL — Police say a fugitive was picked up in Lowell on Wednesday morning.

Authorities were tipped off to the whereabouts of Joshua Limlaw, 28, of Morrisville, who had an in-state arrest warrant and was listed as being on escape status from Newport Probation and Parole.

Troopers descended on a home located at 234 Carter Road, at around 11:15 a.m.

Limlaw immediately ran from troopers on foot from the home and into a rural wooded area.

Police say he was ultimately tracked, captured, and arrested without incident with the assistance of a US Border Patrol K-9.

He was transported to Northern State Correctional Facility and lodged due to the warrant.

Couple donates Lowell land to Vermont Land Trust

in Lowell

LOWELL — Jeannie and John Panner generously donated 197 acres in Lowell to the Vermont Land Trust. The land is located on both sides of Route 58.

The mostly forested property has long views of Hazen’s Notch and Haystack Mountain across a 55-acre wetland.

The Panners’ love of the land runs deep and protecting its natural features and wildlife habitat was important to them.

Jeannie was born on a dairy farm in New York in the late ‘40s.

“My earliest memories include feeding the calves, walking the land, bringing the cows home to be milked,” she recalls.

That early love of that land, born from deep family connections to farming, inspired the purchase of the Lowell property 30 years ago. With its woodland, hay fields, and a little brook, it was idyllic.

“My parents lent us the money to buy it,” Jeannie said. “My dad said, ‘Jeannie has her farm now’.”

At the time the Panners bought the property, they planned to raise crops or animals and to use the forest. Instead, it became a peaceful, beautiful place to get away from their jobs in industry. They visited the land often, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, and enjoying the views and the diverse wildlife.

When they retired, they found themselves living too far from the property.

“We still loved the land, but realized that it needed a new steward, someone who would preserve and use the land,” said John.

“As long-time supporters of the land trust, we thought that donating the land would be our best chance at finding an owner who shared our love of the land and its significant wildlife habitat and scenic values, as well as its potential for multiple uses. It was also a great way to help the Vermont Land Trust in its important mission.”

In addition to scenic views of Hazen’s Notch, the property’s most striking feature is its natural wetland with an alder swamp, cattail marshes, and beaver dams. The diverse landscape provides excellent wildlife habitat.

The land trust will put the property on the market in the coming months. It will be sold subject to a conservation easement that will allow for one house. The remainder of the land will have development permanently restricted but will be available for forestry and agricultural purposes.

The wetland and natural area will be protected as well.

“We are immensely grateful to generous landowners, like John and Jeannie, who donate land such as this,” said Carl Powden of the Vermont Land Trust. “We will protect the land’s important features and use the proceeds from its eventual sale to further our conservation work.”

Police: Lowell man charged with assault after hitting man in the head with a pool stick

in Lowell/News

MONTGOMERY — A 27-year-old man from Lowell is facing aggravated assault charges after police say he hit someone in the head with a pool stick.

Police say Matthew Pion, 27, of Lowell, was arrested early Sunday morning following the assault.

The incident took place at around 2 a.m. at the Snow Shoe Tavern in Montgomery.

Police say they received a call notifying them that an assault had taken place at the bar.

The victim, Zachary Tarte, 21, of Enosburg, told police that Pion struck him in the head with a pool stick.

Tarte sustained injuries but was later released from the Northwestern Medical Center.

State Police later located Pion in Lowell, where he was taken into custody and released on a citation to appear in Franklin County Court on August 1, to answer the charge of aggravated assault.

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    Dana Mitchell and Nathan Grimm were recognized for their participation in the North Country Improv Troupe for bringing theatre skits with prevention messages to middle school students in Troy, Coventry, Lowell and Charleston. Courtney Blanchard received her award for winning the HealthWorks Scholarship Essay Contest.

HealthWorks Coalition celebrates local students involvement in prevention

in Canaan/Lowell/Newport

LOWELL — Students from North Country Union High and Canaan Schools spoke last week at Kingdom Commons Barn in Lowell, at the Annual Meeting of HealthWorks O.N.E./NEKLS Coalition.

The 2016 Recognition Awards went to Courtney Blanchard, a senior at Canaan School and to Nathan Grimm, a senior at North Country Union High School, with Dana Mitchell, a graduate of North County and presently a student at Lyndon State College helping with the awards.

Mitchell is currently conducting an online survey of recent NCUHS students as the youth representative on the HealthWorks Advisory Council.

Blanchard was the recipient of the 2016 Scholarship Essay Contest award, and she read her winning essay about policies that she would use to decrease alcohol use by youth.

She advocated for mental wellness programs in elementary schools because “if children were taught to deal with stress in an appropriate manner and at a younger age, it would help them deal with these problems in a much more positive way later on…They need to learn the skills to deal with pressure, rather than turn to substances to hide away”.

In another student essay, Adrianna Maurais of Canaan wrote, “If we actually took into account the amount of destructive ads we are all exposed to, we would be astounded…no one ever shows what really happens as a result of excessive drinking smoking and/or substance abuse. Children are the most vulnerable and easily manipulated.”

Maurais’ essay was read at the Newport Planning Commission the following night, where Mitchell and HealthWorks prevention specialists Lesley Becker and Paul Dreher spoke about decreasing youth exposure to alcohol advertising by limiting signage.

Dreher discussed a recent ordinance in Winooski limiting advertising in windows or doors of storefronts, for the purpose of improving the appearance of the downtown.

Discussion at the HealthWorks meeting included results of the Vermont 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey showing the most frequent way that youth say they get alcohol is that someone gave it to them.

Possible solutions were to restrict sales of alcohol at public events or limiting hours when alcohol consumption is allow in parks or beaches.

This coming summer and fall, Coalition partners and the community are invited to join Action Teams on Policy and Media to work on these and related issues.

Please contact HealthWorks@neklsvt.org if you are interested in joining.

Driver hits and kills Jersey calf in Lowell, drives off

in Lowell/News

LOWELL — Local authorities are hoping that they can track down a driver who struck and killed a calf in Lowell this morning.

Police say they were notified of a crash involving an unknown vehicle on the Cheney Road in Lowell, near the Ostiguy Road.

The unknown vehicle collided with a 1-year-old Jersey calf.

The calf died as a result of the collision, and police say the vehicle involved never stopped to notify anyone.

The incident happened sometime between 6 and 7 a.m.

Anyone with any information is being asked to call the Vermont State Police.

Cliff tops and overlooks closed to protect nesting peregrines

in Lowell/Outdoors

LOWELL — Several cliff areas across the state are currently closed to protect nesting peregrine falcons, and the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and Audubon Vermont are recommending hikers check to see if the area you’re planning to hike or climb in is open.

“Peregrine nesting is well underway this spring,” said John Buck, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department biologist. “The falcons are very sensitive to human presence, so we ask climbers and hikers to please maintain a respectful distance from all nests. These closures help people to choose an alternative route in advance.”

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department partners with Audubon Vermont to monitor the sites throughout the nesting season. These sites will remain closed until August 1 or until the department determines the risk to nesting falcons has passed.

Barnet Roadcut (Barnet) – Route 5 pullout closed
Bolton Notch (Bolton) – Upper west cliff closed to climbing
Bone Mountain (Bolton) – Portions of cliff closed to climbing
Deer Leap (Bristol) – Closed
Fairlee Palisades (Fairlee) – Cliff top closed
Hazen’s Notch (Lowell) – Cliff closed to climbing
Marshfield Mt (Marshfield) – Portions closed to climbing
Mt. Horrid (Goshen) – Great Cliff overlook closed
Nichols Ledge (Woodbury) – Cliff top closed
Rattlesnake Pt (Salisbury) – Cliff top closed
Snake Mountain (Addison) – Overlook south of pond closed
Table Mt (Manchester) – Closed

Additional sites may be added to the closed list if nesting falcons choose new sites.

“The areas closed include the portions of the cliffs where the birds are nesting and the trails leading to the cliff tops or overlooks,” said Buck. “In many cases the lower portions of the trails are still open, and we encourage people to get out with good binoculars or a scope to enjoy watching the birds from a distance. We will update the closure list as more nesting data are reported.”

Last year saw a record nesting season for Vermont’s peregrine falcons, with 67 young birds successfully growing up and leaving the nest.

The peregrine falcon was removed from the endangered species list in 2005 due in part to people respecting the falcon’s nesting period.

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